Obama hails return of Chrysler bailout money 

President Obama on Tuesday called Chrysler's return of $5.1 billion to the U.S. government a "significant milestone" for the "turnaround of the American auto industry."

Obama couldn't resist harping on the development amid a six-day European trip and as Democrats lambast Republicans for opposing the loans with predictions that such government intervenion would cripple the auto industry.

"I was not willing to walk away from the workers at Chrysler and the communities that rely on this iconic American company," the president said. "I said if Chrysler and all its stakeholders were willing to take the difficult steps necessary to become more competitive, America would stand by them, and we did."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney led a press briefing in London with the announcement, noting the repayment came six years ahead of schedule. 

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